What’s your Sundy answer? When someone asks you, as they do every Sunday, “How are you?” What’s your answer? “Good.” “Great.” “Doing okay.” Or one of my favorites, “Blessed.” Now first off, I’m not knocking any of these answers. We all, especially those of us who have grown up in church, know that these are common answers and even expected answers. I mean no one really wants to walk up to you and say, “How are you?” and have your response be, “Well, this week my dog died, my kid is failing Algebra, my house flooded and I overdrafted my bank account.” So, instead of the truth, we answer, “Good.” “Great.” “Oh, I’m doing okay.” or, “Blessed.” What about the truth though? I am not suggesting that we all walk into church with every tiny thing that went wrong this week and complain to our Christian brothers and sisters. However, there is a point where we are just flat lying when we walk in and say, “I’m blessed.” How can our answer be “blessed” if we did in fact lose our family pet, or our child really is failing algebra, or our house flooded, or our bank account is overdrafted and there is no money for the weekly groceries? Why are we so stuck on this idea that if we share our problems with our church family that it will seem as if we are complaining, or worse that we don’t trust God to provide for us. We are supposed to “cast (our) burden on the Lord” Psalm 55:22. That’s what I’ve always been told. I have been so ingrained with this idea that I have to let God work things out, he doesn’t need my help and he will answer all my prayers. Well, of course He will! He doesn’t need our help but He also doesn’t need our hinderance. Have you ever stopped to think that when you answer with one of those Sunday answers that you are hindering God’s answer to your prayers? Have you ever thought about the possiblity that your answer to prayer could be found in the person you are asking for prayer from? Have you ever thought that God might have a huge blessing that he is waiting to pour out on you? Have you ever thought that as the person listening to the prayer request that you may be the one able to bless someone and be their answer to prayer? This is actually a situation I found myself in, just last night. I won’t share the details because honestly they are extremely private. I will share that yesterday was a down in the dumps, depressed, not sure what God was thinking giving me yet another burden right now kind of day. After adding a hash it out with my husband conversation (that would be a disagreement or a fight for those not up to speed with my lingo) to that horrible day, we landed on an agreement that we needed to talk to someone about the trouble we were facing. So, we did. I cried and couldn’t talk for a few minutes (which for me is a tough thing to accomplish) because of the generosity shown to us after having this conversation. Now, let me be very clear…Adam and I did not go into this conversation expecting anything out of it except a friend who could prayer for our specific need. What we got though, was an answer to our prayer. Our friend also informed us of the blessing and joy that they felt in being able to be our answer to prayer. Now, that people, is an unhindered God moment! So what if I had kept it all to myself? What if Adam and I hadn’t gone to our friend and revealed our struggle? I am sure that God still can and does provide for his children when the struggles are unknown, in fact, I heard a story today of how he had done just that. Sometimes, God will answer our prayer without us ever whispering a word to someone, and we can praise him for such an answer. Other times, he expects his children to share their struggles and “Bear one another’s burdens.” Galatians 6:2
I thought I might join in on the 50 shades of Grey discussion that has been everywhere. Honestly, I have very little knowledge on the subject, having just read the wikipedia synopsis today, and I prefer to keep it at this limited knowledge as I felt dirty just from reading the synopsis. First, let me start by saying, I judge no one on their personal thoughts or feelings in this. You are responsible to God and if applicable, your husband, if you choose to read these books or see this movie. So, whether you agree or disagree with my opinion, pay close attention to the scripture portion, because scripture is not open for interpretation. You can choose to agree or disagree, but it doesn’t change the TRUTH of scripture. When our actions are against God’s word, it doesn’t matter how we “feel.” Scripture is clear that we are not to judge others when we are convicted of something that they are not. Romans 14 is all about the differences in our convictions. There are many gray areas that the Holy Spirit convicts each person of individually. We are to be careful not to convince or sway another believer to our convictions. In a Bible Study written by Priscilla Shirer, Discerning the voice of God, she states, “We shouldn’t challenge (people) regarding their chosen route unless it an issue of scriptural principle.” This is one such issue. There is nothing gray about “Grey.” So, in love not judgement, I make the following statement:
Okay, lets start with the obvious and truthfully, the only point I am really going to make. This book is all about the details of an explicit sexual relationship. That right there, is enough to know that as a Christian, you shouldn’t pick it up. The fact that this relationship takes place outside of marriage, is your second NO, NO. And no, I am not stating that if this story line took place in a marriage relationship that it should be something you should read or see, let me make that very clear.
Lets be real for a moment though, there are many Christian’s fascinated by this sexual subject matter. The question though, is why? Why are Christian’s fascinated by this? Why are so many willing to read it or see the movie (even if they won’t ever speak of it to their Christian friends)? Curiosity? Longing? Fulfillment? What do they believe this will accomplish, help, bring to their lives that is worth the exposure of this subject matter? Maybe the better question is, what will it do to harm their mind, body, soul, and relationships (with God, their spouse, boyfriend, etc.)? I know many will say that it will not harm them in any way. They will say, “I’m mature enough to just take this story for what it is, a story.” WRONG! Even those at the height of spiritual maturity shouldn’t put this kind of rubbish in their mind. Why do I know this? Because scripture is clear, that the devil is seeking to destroy you, every part of you, and this is a perfect example of how he does it. (I Peter 5:8) And the more spiritually mature you are, the harder the devil pursues you to get you to trip up. He convinces you that one little peek into this book won’t harm you. “You will not surely die, your eyes will be opened, and you will be as god’s.” (Gen. 2:17) Sound familiar? It should. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. (I Cor. 6:19) I know that many have questions about sex and they reach out for worldly answers on what sex is and what God expects. God included an entire book on sex in his inspired word! Have you ever read the Song of Solomon? It’s beautiful. God created sex! He is its maker! There is nothing to be ashamed of, it is his beautiful creation. But He said that the marriage bed is to be undefiled (Hebrews 13:4). To include immoral images, content that has no place in a sexual relationship, and the twisted definition of submission, just confuses those in the relationship of what it should actually be.
Why do we as Christians reach out to the world for answers to things that the world is still seeking the answers to? Why do we not first look to the Creator of it all to answer our questions? Why do we feel that expanding our minds to the things of the world will fulfill us? Simply put…we are sinners. Ecclesiastes 1:13-15, “And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted.” Every one of us is so deeply lost in our sin that we turn deeper into our sin looking for a way out. Did you catch that last part of verse 15? “What is crooked cannot be made straight.” We can’t make something sinful and perverted into something beautiful. If we, as married couples, want a healthy sexual relationship, which God not only condones but cheers on as He himself created it for us, we have to turn to the Creator of that relationship in order to understand the details, the expectations, and the desires that go along with it. I must warn you against looking to fulfill or spice up your relationship by looking to the world for answers on the subject. You will come up empty, lacking, and longing. Single friends, do no pervert your mind with Satan’s lies that love and sex are the same thing or that this book or movie portray either love or sex in a true light. These are imaginative stories, dark twisted desires spurned from a sinners mind, not from God’s perspective. Be watchful! Be vigilant!